January 26th, 2018
Call on Knight to support Dream Act, not the wall
Antelope Valley Press
By: Allison Gatlin
PALMDALE – About 15 people met in front of Rep. Steve Knight’s Palmdale office in the cold bluster of Thursday afternoon to urge the Republican congressman to support a “clean” Dream Act, one that does not tie the fate of undocumented immigrants brought to this country as children to funding for a border wall or other such security measures.
“We are here to say we are done waiting,” said Cesar Miguel Vega Magallon, co-chairman of AV Dream Team. “We have been waiting nearly two decades believing empty promises from people like Steve Knight.”
The Trump administration has cancelled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals established by President Barack Obama through an executive order, which shielded nearly 700,000 people from deportation and allowed them to work and go to school.
“I am one of those,” said Magallon, who enrolled in the program in 2013, allowing him to attend college and work.
Magallon said that while there are an estimated 5,000 people in the Antelope Valley eligible for the DACA program, only about 3,000 have enrolled. Reasons for not enrolling include the cost – $495 to renew every two years – as well as fear and confusion about how the information may be used by the federal government and uncertainty as to its future.
Many of the protesters cited Knight’s previous stands while serving in the state Legislature, such as opposing California’s version of the DREAM Act and opposing driver licenses for illegal immigrants.
“Trust runs thin with this man,” Magallon said.
“People in east Palmdale are very concerned about DACA. These are their children, their parents, their neighbors,” said Ann McKeown of Acton, a member of an organization called Building the Base Face to Face.
“If we believe in the family, we need to believe in all the families and we need to find a way to keep them together,” she said.
“People are not pawns to be played with,” said Melissa Guevara of the Antelope Valley Green Party.
“We are one community. We can’t support politicians or policies that are going to tear our community apart,” said Bryan Caforio, a Santa Clarita Democrat running against Knight in November’s election. “It’s time for Steve Knight to recognize that he needs to stand with us.”
Read the full article here.